As calls to halt the military bombardment in Aleppo grows in volume, South African clerics have condemned the attack on civilians, caught in the brutal conflict. After a brief pause in airstrikes and discussions around a possible deal to allow residents to flee their destroyed neighbourhoods, it seems an evacuation is on hold. On Wednesday afternoon, Syrian government forces renewed shelling on the last holdouts of rebel-held eastern Aleppo. There are fears now that an evacuation will not be carried out, and more civilians will remain trapped inside a war zone.
In a statement, the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) said it condemns in the strongest of terms the bombing of civilian areas in eastern Aleppo by Syrian and Russian Air forces.
“These atrocious and senseless acts of violence have been done in attempts to regain control of the area from rebel groups which have been under their control since 2012,” said the organisation.
“We further condemn the killing of Syrian civilians by Shiite Militia comprising of foreign nationals from Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and Lebanon. We received reports of more than 180 civilians that were brutally slaughtered in areas they (the militia) have taken control of.”
The ulema body said it was concerned by the silence of the South African government, further appealing for the global community to denounce the violence in Syria.
“The MJC appeals to the South African government to use whatever political clout it has internationally to try and assist in bringing this inhumane butchering of innocent Syrians to a halt. Lastly and most importantly, we call on the Muslim Ummah to beseech Almighty Allah to intervene in the Syria crisis and to grant victory to the Syrian people against their despotic and oppressive ruler and his allies, Āmīn.”
In a video message, Maulana Ebrahim Bham from the Jamiatul Ulema South Africa said the silence from the global community was alarming.
“It’s inconceivable and speaks volume about the lack of concern of humanity to justice. Thousands of people are confined to a limited space and there are reports of a massacres taking place.
“Ya Allah, it seems as we are helpless, but it should not be so. We never lose faith in the plan of Allah SWT.
Allah is not unaware of the doing of the oppressors. But it will weigh heavily on the conscience of the Ummah. Let us raise our voice,” he said.
The Jamiatul Ulama KZN requested that all Masajid commence Qunoot e Naazilah, considering the dire situation being faced in Aleppo, Syria, currently.
“Our communities should be requested to earnestly make Dua for our Syrian brethen and the Muslim Ummah at large, particularly those going through so much difficulty in various other parts of the globe,” said the ulema body.